Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews joined teammate Patrick Kane on the Central Division team for the NHL All-Star game Jan 31 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. But goaltender Corey Crawford, with an NHL-leading six shutouts, was not selected — beaten out by the Minnesota Wild’s Devan Dubnyk and the hometown Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne.
Toews is having a subpar season statistically for him — 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points and a plus-8 rating. But he leads the league in 3-on-3 overtime goals with four, and the All-Star game will have a 3-on-3 format this year. This is his fifth All-Star Game selection in nine NHL seasons.
Kane, who was voted a captain for the Central Division team, is the leading contender for the Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player. He leads the NHL with 59 points — 23 goals, 36 assists — and is a plus-18. He has scored at least one point in 36 of 41 games this season. His 26-game point-scoring streak earlier this season was the longest in Blackhawks history, the longest in the NHL by an American-born player and the longest in the NHL by a player of any nationality since Ottawa’s Mats Sundin (30 games) in 1992-93. This is also Kane’s fifth All-Star Game selection in nine NHL seasons.
Crawford’s 2.22 goals-against average and .925 save percentage are eighth in the NHL among goalies who have started at least half his team’s games. He also is tied for the league lead in shootout save percentage (1.000). Rinne has a 2.43 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. He does lead the NHL with 34 starts, so there’s that.
Also named to the Central Division squad were forwards Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin of the Stars, Matt Duchene of the Avalanche and defensemen Dustin Byfuglien of the Jets, Roman Josi and Shea Weber of the hometown Predators.
Byfuglien, who played for the Blackhawks from 2006-10 and was a key contributor on the 2010 Stanley Cup championship team, is one of three former Hawks to make the All-Star rosters. The others are Blue Jackets’ forward Brandon Saad (2012-15) and Coyotes forward John Scott (2010-12).